The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables is our Outside Reading Book for 2nd Quarter.  All students are to adhere to the syllabus handed out in class.  There will be seminars and quizzes, along with homework assignments for this unit.  Also, students will have a choice at the end of the unit as to how they will be assessed; they can either take the test, do a theme project via a Prezi, a PowerPoint or a poster board or write an essay.  See me for all rubrics and guidance documents.



Students will be able to:

  •  Read, comprehend and analyze a literary text.
  •  Identify and interpret various themes throughout the novel.
  • Relate the story of Nathaniel Hawthorne to justice and the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Analyze Hawthorne's craft and meaning behind the Gables.
  • Develop an understanding of the growth of a family throughout generations and analyze that in relation to the "curse".

Common Core Standards:

  • ·         11.RL.1 "Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text..."
  • ·         11.RL.2 "Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text..."
  • ·         11.RL.3 "Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or a drama..."
  • ·         11.RL.5 "Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text contribute to its overall structure and meaning..."
  • ·         11.W.1 "Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics of texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence".
  • ·         11.W.4 "Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience".
  • ·         11.SL.1 "Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions..."
  • ·         11.SL.3 "Evaluate a speaker's point of view..."
  • ·         11.SL.4 "Present information, findings and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning..."
  • ·         11.L.1 "Demonstrates command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking".

The House of the Seven Gables Background Information

Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1851

Nathaniel Hawthorne

·         The House of the Seven Gables is his third novel, published by Ticknor, Reed and Fields of Boston.

·         He wrote short stories, novels and documentaries.  He is famous for writing The Scarlet Letter (1849).

·         He was born July 4, 1804 in Salem, Mass and died May 18, 1864 in Plymouth, NH.

·         He was good friends with President Franklin Pierce, whom he attended school with when he was younger.

·         Hawthorne is the descendent of two famous judges in American history:

·         William Hathorne (great, great grandfather): unjustly persecuted the Quaker people and sailors.

·         John Hathorne (great grandfather): one of the three judges who persecuted the witches in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

·         Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody in 1842.  He worked as a surveyor for Salem and as an author.  In 1850, after his mother’s death, the couple moved to Lenox, MA to leave Salem behind forever.  Hawthorne was haunted by his family’s role in the Witch Trials and felt constant guilt because of it.  Supposedly, he inserted a “w” in his last name to separate himself from his ancestors and their deadly crimes.

The House of the Seven Gables

·         This book reflects his family’s history.

·         When his dad died, his family (who was traditionally wealthy and a family of privilege) faced poverty.

·         He aligns this with Hepzibah having to open the store in the house and he having to publish his writing.

·         Hawthorne aligns his great-grandfather, John, to the character of Colonel Pyncheon, who also plays a role in the witch trials in the book.

·         This book focuses on a family’s history of sins, which aligns with his feelings on his own family history.

Character Map:



The House of the Seven Gables      
Character Name Heritage Background Information Role in Book Lived in the Gables?
Matthew Maule        
Matthew Maule Jr.        
Colonel Pyncheon        
Alice Pyncheon        
Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon        
Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon        
Hepzibah Pyncheon        
Clifford Pyncheon        
Uncle Venner        
Mr. Holegrave